The Akeing Heart


The Akeing Heart: Letters between Sylvia Townsend Warner, Valentine Ackland and Elizabeth Wade White is a story of tormented literary lesbian relationships. The British novelist and poet Sylvia Townsend Warner made a new American friend in 1929, Elizabeth Wade White. She came to England to threaten Sylvia’s happiness with her life companion Valentine Ackland. Elizabeth’s neglected partner Evelyn Holahan, also a friend of Sylvia’s, watched stoically as Elizabeth and Valentine played out their passionate and damaging affair.

Valentine was the serial seducer, and Elizabeth the demanding lover claiming her sexuality for the first time. Sylvia kept faith in anger and despair, while Evelyn offered Elizabeth realistic fidelity to balance Valentine’s romanticism.

Diva Magazine published a glowing review of The Akeing Heart on 23 April 2018: ‘Peter Haring Judd has curated the most thrilling, romantic and heartbreaking accounts of a major 20th-century literary love story. Covering the period of the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, in 1930s New York and Connecticut and in 1950s Dorset, this is an intense and beautifully written exploration of two decades in the lives of four women.’